Reviewed by Rishi Desai, MD, MPH
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome is a disease characterized by hemolytic anemia, acute kidney failure (uremia), and thrombocytopenia. It predominantly, but not exclusively, affects children, and is the most common cause of acquired acute renal failure in childhood. Most cases are preceded by an episode of infectious, sometimes bloody, diarrhea, acquired from contaminated food or water, and caused by E. coli O157:H7. It is a medical emergency with a 5–10% mortality rate; of the remainder, the majority recover without major consequences, although some develop chronic kidney disease that usually progresses to require dialysis or kidney transplant.